a Booklist Top Ten Art Book for Youth
Texas Bluebonnet Nominee 2005
A Junior Library Guild Selection
Nominated for the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award 2005
New York Times
“Vivid details of village life as well as insights into the colors and techniques of silk painting…”
Publishers Weekly—starred review
“The author captures the exotic smells, tastes, and sounds that define Noi’s world and shapes an equally affecting portrait of a family coping with the changes thrust upon it.”
“Marsden tells a story that is foreign in detail and texture but universal in appeal. The community’s weather, customs and beliefs are reflected in the observant Noi’s quiet narrative, but more fundamental is her love for each family member, her concern for their livelihood, and her longing to contribute to the family’s fortunes in her own way.”
“The language is soft and clear as rainwater, a glimpse into a way of life little known to American children.”
HOW I GOT THE IDEA
One time when I visited Thailand, I met an activist who was concerned about the toxic metals being used in the factories. Young workers were dying, and the forest was being polluted. I told this woman that I would go home and do something about this situation. I began to write what would become SILK UMBRELLAS. The story went through many changes, going from being a picture book, to a non-fiction holiday book, to different versions of a middle grade novel until it became the present book.
IDEAS FOR CLASSROOM DISCUSSION:
*What are the demands and expectations on young people in other cultures?
*How is your own world changing?